Gallows Hill, Pennsylvania

How did Gallows Hill in Pennsylvania get its name? This page provides a brief history about Gallows Hill in Pennsylvania, the people who settled on it, and the industry rising around it.

Gallows Hill is located mainly in the southeast corner of Springfield Township and slopes westward towards Bursonville and eastward into Nockamixon Township. It is the high point near the northwest end of a plateau that extends for two miles along Durham Road. This summit has an elevation of 625 feet, from which there is a magnificent view of the mountain and valley to the north and east. It was over Gallows Hill that Edward Marshall and James Yates trudged on their famous Indian Purchase Walk late in the forenoon of September 19, 1737. Solomon Jennings, the third walker, had fallen out of line near Red Hill (Ottsville). It was on Gallows Hill that the walkers turned from Durham Road and took a more direct path towards the Blue Mountains. On November 21, 1925, the Pennsylvania Historical Commission and citizens of Bucks and Northampton Counties unveiled a marker at this point. The bronze tablet bears the following inscription:

Gallows Hill
Edward Marshall and his associates
of the famous Indian Walk
of a day and a half
September 19-20, 1737
left the old Durham Road
on the first day and followed
the well-beaten Indian path
which led northwestwardly
through present Hellertown, Bethlehem,
Northampton, and the Lehigh Gap.

The name Gallows Hill was early perpetuated in the warrant and survey for the Ware Tract, dated 1738. William and Robert Ware owned large tracts of land on and near the hill at that time, and it is on one of these tracts that the hamlet of Gallows stands. Many Aboriginal relics were found on the hill. Dr. Henry C. Mercer says it was at Gallows Hill that Charles Laubach showed him stones supposed by Laubach to mark the site of an ancient Indian crematory. Another object of interest, a quarter mile from a stone schoolhouse on the east side of the road from Gallows to Bursonville, is a milestone with this legend chiseled on one side, “44 miles to Philadelphia.” No definite information is at hand explaining why this place should have been chosen for the only milestone of the kind found today anywhere in that part of the county.


MacReynolds, George. Place Names in Bucks County Pennsylvania, 2nd Edition. Doylestown, PA: The Bucks County Historical Society, 1955.

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